Woman in 1860 painting Is Not Holding an iPhone But a Pocket Bible

Conspiracy theorists claims the woman in 19th-century dress in a 1860 painting is holding a smartphone in her hands but that is not true.

The scene was spotted by retired civil servant Peter Russell in the Neue Pinakothek, the Museum of Early Modern Art in Munich.

The centuries-old painting evokes something that we today have to do with it: people walking on the street and are completely fixated on their phone.

Small rectangular object

The painting, entitled ‘The Coming’, is made around 1850-60 by the Austrian painter Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller.

You see a woman walking on a dirt road while a kneeling man is waiting for her with a pink flower in his hand.

Her attention was drawn to the small, rectangular object in her hands. It is not a smartphone, but a pocket Bible, says Gerald Weinpolter of art office Austrian at paintings.at.


“What surprised me most is how the meaning of an artwork is changed by technology,” said Russell, who lives in Glasgow, to Motherboard.

“In 1850 or 1860 everyone would have recognized the object as a pocket Bible,” he continued. “Today, everyone will think of an adolescent girl with a smartphone.”


The painting made such an impression on him that he was on Twitter compared illustrated with artwork from a man in 1937 when according to some who has an iPhone in his hands.

According to the museum, the painting is called “Sunday Morning” and shows two men in Sunday clothes.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons Hajotthu

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